September 2020 Income At-A-Glance
Gross Income for September: $244,274
Total Expenses for September: $25,608
Total Net Profit for September: $218,666
Difference b/t Sept & Aug: +$91,407
% of net profit to overall gross revenue: 90%
Why We Publish An Income Report
This monthly income report is created for you, Fire Nation!
By documenting the struggles we encounter and the successes we celebrate as entrepreneurs every single month, we’re able to provide you with support – and a single resource – where we share what’s working, what’s not, and what’s possible.
There’s a lot of hard work that goes into learning and growing as an entrepreneur, especially when you’re just starting out. The most important part of the equation is that you’re able to pass on what you learn to others through teaching, which is what we aim to do here.
**We’ll receive a commission on the affiliate links below. If you click on my affiliate link and sign up for the products and services I trust and recommend, then I will earn a commission.
Josh Bauerle’s Monthly Tax Tip
What’s up Fire Nation, my name is Josh Bauerle. I’m a CPA and the Founder of CPA On Fire, where we specialize in working with entrepreneurs to minimize their tax liability while keeping them in line with the ever-changing tax laws.
I’ve been working with JLD & Kate at Entrepreneurs On Fire for years now, and they’ve included me in these monthly income reports with unlimited access to all their accounts so I can verify that what they report here is complete and accurate.
And because they believe in delivering an insane amount of value to you, my job doesn’t stop at the verification level; I also provide a new tax and accounting tip every month!
Josh’s September Tax Tip: Updates on the Paycheck Protection Program, PPP
It feels like 2020 has been a constant loop of the same topics in these income reports. Stimulus and other government help for those impacted, then updates on the help, then updates on the updates, and on and on!
This month is no different, as we have a few important updates on the PPP loan.
First, let’s talk about the forgiveness part of the PPP loan.
For those who received PPP funds last spring and early summer you know that one of the big promises and most amazing parts about the loan was that it would be eligible for full forgiveness if the funds were used according to their guidelines.
They said you would need to apply for forgiveness, but it would be easy to get it if you followed the rules.
The update here is: there really is no update yet.
The lenders who issued the funds are taking forgiveness applications, but there is a lot of talk amongst politicians to make loans under a certain threshold automatically forgiven. There is also not yet an official deadline for applying.
So my advice here for now is to hold off on applying, but keep in close touch with your lender so you know of any updates or deadlines.
Second, we need to talk about the issue of how the loan, if forgiven, will work for taxes.
Typically when a loan is forgiven, meaning you don’t have to pay it back, the amount is treated as taxable income.
This makes sense since a forgiven loan is essentially someone giving you money.
But one of the amazing parts about the PPP funds was the promise it would not be treated as taxable income. And they have kept that promise… kind of.
The IRS has updated the rules to show that, while the funds will not be taxable, the expenses the funds were used to pay for will not be deductible. Essentially, just a backwards way of making the forgiven loan taxable.
It will also make the bookkeeping for all of this incredibly confusing.
Right now politicians on both sides of the aisle, as well as accounting groups and small business groups, are pushing hard to get this changed. But as of now you need to plan to pay taxes on the forgiven portion of the loan.
I know this is an update without much in the way of concrete updates, but the bottom line is if you received PPP funds you need to stay up to date on this because things are changing all the time.
Two things I would recommend as we move forward:
- Be in frequent communication with the lender you received the funds from so you know if and when there is an actual deadline to apply for forgiveness. You don’t want to not have the loan forgiven because you missed a deadline.
- Be in touch with your tax preparer so you can understand the rules (and changes to the rules) regarding taxation of the PPP funds. You don’t want to get hit with a much larger tax bill than you expected come tax time because of PPP forgiveness.
Now more than ever, communication with your financial professionals across the board is vital. Stay on top of the ever changing rules and the help available as we continue to weather this 2020 storm.
As always, please feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss what would be best for YOUR business. I LOVE chatting with Fire Nation!
David Lizerbram’s September Legal Tip
Six Phrases Not to Say to a Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer is one of the most important steps in the launch of a new business. No entrepreneur succeeds without a great team around them, and an attorney is a key part of that team.
Unfortunately, while there’s a lot of great advice out there for aspiring entrepreneurs, it’s rare to find good tips about how to hire a lawyer. And even more rare is advice on what not to say when you’re interviewing potential attorneys.
There’s no sense in hiring a bad lawyer. And good lawyers are busy and careful about who they take on as a client. A good business attorney develops a sense for when a potential client is not a good fit, and learns how to politely steer them away.
There are a few common “red flag” phrases that business attorneys hear over and over. Entrepreneurs need to know to avoid these phrases — and more importantly, why they should be avoided.
I wanted to provide some tips to help you go through the process of finding the right lawyer for your company. Do yourself a favor and don’t say any of the following six things when you’re talking to a potential lawyer for your entrepreneurial venture.
1. “I just need a simple or standard or template…”
Each of these words mean the same thing to a lawyer: cheap. Legal services shouldn’t be unreasonably expensive, but if the attorney gets the sense that you’re just looking for the cheapest solution, they will probably show you the door.
Here’s the reality: you may not actually know what your legal needs are. Often clients call me requesting one document and it turns out they need a lot more than they thought. And sometimes it works the other way, and the solution is simpler than they imagined it would be.
My most successful clients realize this is part of the process and say, instead, “Here’s what I’m working on, can you help me figure out the best way to make sure my legal needs are addressed?”
2. “This will be easy.”
Please don’t tell your potential lawyer that their job is easy. You’re talking to someone who went to law school, passed one or more state bar exams, and has hopefully worked with many clients before you came along. If it’s easy, you don’t need a lawyer, right?
(Also, let’s be honest, “easy” is yet another synonym for “cheap”.)
3. “This will be fast.”
I can’t tell you how many times a client told me that the deal was all ready to go and all we had to do was create the contract and the other side would sign, no problem.
Cut to days, weeks, or months later and the negotiations are still going back and forth.
You really never know if a transaction is going to go quickly or not. Most likely, the person on the other side of the table is going to surprise you.
If you tell the potential lawyer that the process is going to be a fast one, they will get a sense that you’re inexperienced, or not in this for the long haul. And again, we all know that “fast” and “cheap” go together.
4. “That’s not in my budget.”
If you get a quote for legal services, please don’t say “That’s not in my budget”. Part of the budgeting process is determining how much your needs cost.
On the other hand, it’s very reasonable to say, “I don’t have the cash on hand to cover all of those legal needs at the moment. Can you help me prioritize the projects by urgency?”
5. “I’ll do that part myself online.”
Online legal services are not a substitute for working with an actual lawyer. Very often, clients try to save a bit of money by using online services or doing it themselves. In my experience, the client usually ends up spending more money having their lawyer correct the mistakes.
If a potential client reaches out and says they’ll do part of the legal work themselves online, that’s a strong suggestion that this person is not committed to doing it right the first time, and is just going to cause headaches for both of us.
6. “I’ll need you to sign an NDA.”
No, you don’t. In almost all cases, anything you discuss with or disclose to a lawyer is confidential and cannot be disclosed — even if you don’t end up hiring that lawyer. For that reason, there’s rarely a reason for a lawyer to sign an NDA. I’ve never signed a client’s NDA in 18 years of practicing law.
Of course, there are exceptions, and if you have specific concerns having to do with confidential information, don’t hesitate to bring those up in your conversations with potential lawyers. Just don’t start by asking them to sign an NDA.
OK, those are the six tips. For even more advice, check out my blog post 7 Keys to Choosing the Right Lawyer for Your Business.
And finally, if I can leave you with one last piece of advice, it’s this: nobody ever said “I wish I hadn’t hired a good lawyer.”
If you have questions about your company’s legal needs, please feel free to contact me.
What Went Down In September
EOFire Celebrates 8 Years!
What started as just an idea in the summer of 2012 has positively grown into something neither of us could have ever predicted!
John launched Entrepreneurs On Fire to fill a void he was experiencing in his own life: he was looking for inspiring interviews with entrepreneurs to help him learn and grow during his long commutes working in commercial real estate.
He had his go-to podcasts, like Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income, and David Siteman Garland’s Rise to the Top, but they were publishing episodes weekly – and sometimes every other week. John was in the car every single day driving to and from appointments, and he was pretty sick of listening to the radio.
His ah-ha moment: why don’t I create a podcast that interviews today’s most successful entrepreneurs – and do it 7 DAYS A WEEK!?
Doubts, fears, others telling him it wouldn’t work, and a few false starts later John hired a mentor and joined a mastermind for accountability and support.
As he stumbled his way through an online world of technical and logistical mazes, he kept his eye on his goal and mission: to create a podcast that would inspire millions.
- On September 22, 2012 John launched Entrepreneurs On Fire.
- In April 2013 I joined the team.
- In July 2013 we launched our first Mastermind, Fire Nation Elite.
- In October 2013 we launched our first online course, Podcasters’ Paradise.
…And the timeline continues. Check out our biggest milestones throughout the years on our About Page (scroll to the bottom for our infographic!)
When I think about the past 8 years, I think about all the lessons we’ve learned, the relationships we’ve built, the successes we’ve celebrated, the lives and businesses we’ve impacted, and the lifestyle freedom we’ve created.
And all of it is possible because of our incredible team, and because of you, Fire Nation! So thank you for helping us celebrate 8 years!
August brought us to the East Coast to visit John’s family, and September brought us to the West Coast to visit my family.
But our trip isn’t over just yet! We rented an AirBNB on Sail Bay right down the street from where we used to live in San Diego, and we’ll be soaking up the sun and salty air here until mid-October.
So far we’ve enjoyed daily runs and walks along the bay, camping in Julian, and a lot of great family time.
The adventure continues into October as we enjoy more bayside fun, and we’ll be rounding out the trip with a camping weekend in Joshua Tree.
While we’re definitely putting in a couple of hours of work here and there, we’re fully enjoying the lifestyle freedom and location independence our online business affords us!
If you want to learn more about our travel planning for our longer trips – so that we can spend entire days unplugged and not feel the stress of deadlines and to-do’s – check out our Trip Prep Series we published while preparing for our 60-day European adventure in 2018! (Note: this is the process we follow every time we prepare for a trip, whether it’s 3 days or 3 months.)
For more on travel planning, check out our biggest lesson learned this month (at the end of this post!)
September 2020 Income Breakdown*
Product/Service Income: $227,100
TOTAL Journal sales: 527 Journals for a total of $14,977
The Freedom Journal: Accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days!
- Total: $5,550 (205 Freedom Journals sold)
The Mastery Journal: Master Productivity, Discipline and Focus in 100 days!
- Total: $5,527 (204 Mastery Journals sold)
The Podcast Journal: Idea to Launch in 50 Days!
- Total: $3,900 (118 Podcast Journals sold)
**Tune in to our income report this month to hear how we increased our Journal sales on Amazon! Hint: TurnKeyProductManagement.com/fire**
Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 Podcasting community in the world!
- Recurring: $17,011 (159 recurring)
- New members: $4,737 (21 new members)
- Total: $21,748
Real Revenue: Turn your BIG IDEA into Real Revenue
- Total: $300
Podcast Sponsorships & Special Projects: $189,960
Podcast Launch: Audiobook: $84 | eBook: $31
Free Courses that contribute to the above revenue:
Your Big Idea: Discover your big idea in under an hour!
Free Podcast Course: Create and launch your own podcast!
Funnel On Fire: Create a funnel that converts!
Affiliate Income: $17,174
*Affiliate links below – if you click on my affiliate link and sign up for the products and services I trust and recommend, then I will earn a commission.
Resources for Entrepreneurs: $14,085
- Audible: $87
- Click Funnels: $13,790
- Coaching referrals: $148 (email me for an introduction to a mentor for overall online business or a Podcast focused mentor!)
- ConvertKit: $60
- Virtual Staff Finder: $0
Courses for Entrepreneurs: $1,649
- Knowledge Broker Blueprint by Tony Robbins: $809
- Create Awesome Online Courses by DSG: $50
- Crush it w/ Challenges by Pedro Adao: $790
Resources for Podcasters: $1,131
- Pat Flynn’s Fusebox Podcast Player: $150
- Podcasting Press: $23
- Designrr: $0
- Splasheo: $148
- Tim Paige’s Make My Intro: $0
- Interview Valet: $300
- Libsyn: $397 (Use promo code FIRE for the rest of this month & next free!)
- UDemy Podcasting Course: $98
- RepurposeHouse: $15
Other Resources: $309
- Amazon Associates: $140
- Other: $169
Total Gross Income in September: $244,274
Business Expenses: $23,270
- Advertising: $0
- Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $1,627
- Accounting: $961
- Cost of goods sold: $2,881
- Consulting: $197
- Fulfillment: $2,268
- Design & Branding: $300
- Dues & Subscriptions: $68
- Education: $44
- Legal & Professional: $0
- Meals & Entertainment: $686
- Merchant / bank fees: $1,895
- Amazon fees: $5,311
- PayPal fees: $118
- Office expenses: $411
- Community Refunds: $1,385
- Promotional: $0
- Travel: $2,116
- Virtual Assistant Fees: $3,700
- Website Fees: $0
Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $1,640
- Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
- Boomerang: $50 (team package)
- Authorize.net: $70
- Bonjoro: $45
- Cell Phone: $105
- Google Suite: $43
- Internet: $100
- eVoice: $10
- Infusionsoft CRM: $241
- Insurance: $89
- Libsyn: $154
- Linktree: $6
- TaxJar: $19
- Taxes & Licenses: $523
- Zoom: $55
- Xero: $30
Total Expenses in September: $25,608
Payroll to John & Kate: $15,900
In our May 2014 Income Report and our June 2016 Income Report, Josh focuses on how to pay yourself as an entrepreneur. Check them out!
Wondering what we do with all of our net revenue? We share all in our April 2017 Income Report :)
Total Net Profit for September 2020: $218,666
Biggest Lesson Learned
Travel planning (trip prep)
A question I get a lot is: how do you keep up with work stuff when you’re traveling?
John and I have a lot of practice when it comes to travel planning. We’ve been traveling on a somewhat large scale since 2014, which was about a year and a half after we launched our business.
Thing is, once you discover and embrace what’s most important to you, the how is no longer an issue. If you want something bad enough, you’ll figure out how to get it.
So once we discovered how important location independence and lifestyle freedom are to both of us, we were quite determined to figure out not only how to structure our business in such a way that it would support that freedom, but also how we could prepare for our travels so that business wasn’t ever the primary focus while we are traveling.
We’ve pretty much perfected a system we use every single time we travel – no matter it’s 3 days or 3 months that we’re leaving for. While I do have a deep dive in our Trip Prep Series, I wanted to cover a few highlights with you here.
Part I: Getting your travel in order
This stage is all about getting your travel plans solidified. Everything from research to booking planes, trains and automobiles – and of course, your accommodations!
Part II: Getting your work in order
Next, it’s time to start a list of everything you need to accomplish before you leave. What are your priorities, due dates, and goals from now until you depart? What types of activities would you be doing at home during the time you’re traveling?
Write it all down and make sure you’re being realistic!
Part III: Putting a plan in place with systems
Now that you have your itinerary established, plus a list of all tasks and projects that need to be completed before you leave (including what needs to be done that would have otherwise been accomplished during your actual travel time), it’s time to put a plan in place that will help you batch everything.
Once you have a system down, accomplishing 2-3x what you would on your normal work schedule is going to be a breeze!
Part IV: The push
You have your itinerary, your complete list of tasks and projects, systems in place to help you accomplish all of those tasks and projects, and now it’s time to DO THE WORK!
Please feel free to visit these posts and episodes for a deep dive into each of these trip prep stages!
When John and I travel, we’re maybe putting in an hour of work each day. Sure, there are days when we put in more, but those days are dictated by us – not by our workload. If you want location independence and lifestyle freedom, it’s yours. Choose it!
Alright Fire Nation, that’s a wrap!
Until next month, keep your FIRE burning!
~ Kate & John
Note: we report our income figures as accurately as possible, but in using reports from a combo of Infusionsoft & Xero to track our product and total income / expenses, they suggest the possibility of a 3 – 5% margin of error.